theraineysisters knitting and so much more

September 27, 2010

From Susan — A Visit to DC, Part Deux

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 8:30 pm

For those of you who thought the stories from DC were over — think again!  Yes, there’s more!  Two posts for the price of one. 

One of the things I did when I visited Sally was work on my Maia Shoulderette designed by Romi Hill.  The reason I could not finish it here was because I was out of yarn.  I was using yarn from my stash: Colinette Jitterbug in a light green with rust highlights (Moss)…but I made two fatal mistakes:  1- I added a repeat even though I didn’t mean to (don’t ask!) and b- chose a yarn without much yardage. 

When Sally and I bought the yarn, we got three skeins of ~330 yards each in anticipation of each making socks.  So I am the yarn hog.  I brought my almost finished Maia to DC and worked on it non-stop until that bad boy was done.  By the end, the rows were ENDLESS!!!   I think I probably used two full skeins to finish it.

The fun thing about this pattern is the start: Romi uses a play on the garter tab cast on, incorporating a large leaf motif:

The bottom edge:

Here you can see the unusual shape — a “stay on your shoulders” kind of shape:

Sally and I both worked on this shawlette.  She wrote some notes on her Ravelry project page that describe both of our thoughts about this pattern.

I’m not sure exactly when I’ll wear this, but it is kind of cute.

September 24, 2010

From Both of Us — Drowning in New Yarn!

Filed under: Back Story,Eala Bhan — Both Sisters @ 1:46 pm

Lost Weekend
We weren’t drinking, but we were knitting…and eating…and watching an eclectic assortment of Colin Firth movies.   And we do mean eclectic and we do mean Colin Firth — all Colin, most of the time ;).  Let’s just say that Mr. Darcy has a checkered film past — some good, some only watchable for the close ups.

When we could pry ourselves away from the DVDs we checked out the local yarn stores.  We started off at Fibre Space (and returned later to the scene of the crime) and hit many a store after that.  On Monday, having run out of films, we made a quick trip to Mount Vernon to stroll through the gorgeous scenery and learn more about our first president.  Susan had been there before but said it felt new again.  That’s what happens when you have no memory!

On one of our visits to Fibre Space, the store was hosting a trunk show for the glorious hand dyed yarns of Miss Babs.  This picture shows us with “Miss Babs herself.  She allowed us to drape her in her wares — I think it is because we helped her reach her retirement goal!!

Here’s Susan’s yarn (Sally bought the Smooch colored silk for Susan as a belated birthday present 🙂 ).  The yarn on the left is called Tierno, Baby Alpaca and Silk, in the color ‘Beach Glass.’  The pink is100% mulberry silk in laceweight (1250 yards!).

Sally’s yarn from Miss Babs was also (big surprise) a color from the pink family.  It’s silk lace weight in the color Shiraz.

Sally also picked up a sweater’s worth of a fingering weight yarn called Canopy (alpaca, merino, and bamboo) in Sarsaparilla (with accent colors in Canopy and some other yarns) for a project she’s wanted to undertake for a long time.  More on that once it’s been started, but here’s a preview of the yarn colors.

We checked out a great new shop called Looped Yarn Works just off Dupont Circle.  This bright, airy, cutely decorated shop has cozy nooks in which to knit and lots of very nice yarn!  Sally took a few photos with her iPhone, most of which were blurry, but here’s one.

On Sunday we made an emergency needle run to Knit and Stitch — in Bethesda, MD.   The people could not have been nicer.  When we got there we noticed a treasure trove of Hanne Falkenberg kits.   Upon further inspection, we realized that they had a Hanne F. trunk show in progress!!  Woo Hoo!   We were able to try on several great designs: Gloria and Plisse to name a couple.   The Gloria Jacket is one of the most flattering designs we have seen.  It looked good on both of us even with our size disparity.

Before the weekend started, we each received our copies of the new (and improved?) Aran Knitting, AND yarn for the newest design straight from the source herself.

Now, back to knitting!

September 15, 2010

From Susan — 10 – 9 – 8 – 7…

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:54 pm

The countdown has begun!  I will launch at 1010 tomorrow and meet up with Surly around 2pm.  Then watch out, DC, The Rainey Sisters will be on the loose!! 

Houston, we have a problem: a serious yarn shortage in the DC area….

September 14, 2010

From Susan — Countdown to 500 Hats!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 1:48 pm

It certainly feels that way.  When I am between large projects I usually take a breather with a few quick knits.  I can’t get through a day without knitting, but I am not yet prepared to embark on the next big thing.  Plus, my knitting group is donating hats to charity this fall.

So, I knit hats — three this week!   The Quincy I already shared, a very basic hat too basic to share and this one: The Tuscan Leaves Hat by Nina Machlin.   This is a very nice hat pattern!  I love the way the leaves meander slowly next to each other.  It is NOT charted, but I had no trouble reading it row by row.

Here are the pictures of Nina’s Hats, which show the hat in its entirety:

I did not have a model, nor do I own a “head” so my pictures are flat and not that good:

I used Ella Rae Worsted Weight Wool.  When finished, the hat looked so tiny that it seemed like it would not fit a soul, but it did block nicely.  I would make this again.  It is so pretty and unique.

There may be a gap in our blogging:  I will be heading east to visit Surly on Thursday!  Yay!

September 10, 2010

From Susan — $225 … $170 … $5 … -$22!!

Filed under: Leyfi,Updates — lv2knit @ 3:42 pm

I’m a mathematical genius!  How do you make a sweater with yarn that costs $225 and end up making money??  Here’s Susan’s creative math:

Tahki Tinka (100% merino): $9/skein x 14 = $125, plus
Filatura di Crosa Superior (70% cashmere,30% silk): $25/skein x 4 = $100
Total = $225

$225 minus Webs regular discount = $170
$170 minus generous Webs Gift Card = $70
$70 minus $65 unexpected monetary windfall = $5
$5 PLUS 3 unused skins of Tinka ($9 x 3 = $27-5 = $22) = I made $22!!!!!!!  Yay!!

At least, that’s how I see it 😉 .

The sweater that gave me such a fabulous return on investment is Leyfi by Romi Hill featured in the Fall 2010 Interweave Knits.  This sweater grabbed me right away and looked like it would be a- fun to knit and b- easy to wear.  Both statements proved to be TRUE.

Leyfi by Romi Hill in Tahki Tinka and Filatura di Crosa Superior

The design is truly ingenious.  As you work the sweater from the top down you are amazed at how Romi put it together, enlarging the leaves to widen the yoke.  I used the same yarn as Romi: it is luxurious, butter soft, heavenly…which makes me worry about pilling.  Time will tell.

I did make a couple of changes to the sleeves: Romi’s design does not include any sleeve shaping — they stay the same width to the wrist and have a bell shape.  I did decrease 20 sts along the length of the sleeve.

Also, I did not finish off the leaf patten as described.  I did not do Chart D at the end of the sleeves. Instead I finished Chart C after Round 6 and then started 6 rnds of stockinette (it would also work to knit to Round 8 and then do the stockinette). I increased at the center point on Rounds 1 and 3 of the st st (knit to center st, YO, k1, YO and then twisted the YOs on the following rnd). On rnd 5 and the bind off round I did a central dbl dec. I got a very nice point to the sleeve.

At the bottom hem, I bound off using MY stretchy bind off (not Jeny’s!): k1, (k1, YO holding yarn across needle to back, pass two sts over YO) repeat within ( ) to end of row.  Otherwise, it did not have any “give” and just seemed too restrictive.

Pattern: A
Yarns: A
Fit: A

I do think many of the new, bulky yarns would work very well and cost less…though, could they cost less than a minus $22??!!?

September 7, 2010

From Susan — Quincy Resurrected and Dissected

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:17 pm

Hello, fellow knitting peeps.  Today was the first day of school for DD the Younger.   She has three years left of high school.  She just got her learner’s permit.  Pray for us.  Pray for us all.

I have a small FO to share — another Quincy Hat by Jared Flood.   I made several of these last year and enjoyed making them enough to do another — it’s a great take-along project.  Our knitting group is knitting hats for charity this year, so I am knitting hats. 

Quincy Hat by Jared Flood in Katia Azteca (128 yds of a 197 yd skein), US Size 10 Needles

The hat is started as a long, garter stitch strip with built-in i-cord along each edge.  Last year, I ran into several people who had difficulty trying to set up the grafting for the center back (I told them to go ask Jared…well, I told them and then I showed them 🙂 ).

You need to graft the first and last three sts as stockinette and the middle sts in garter stitch.  In order to do this correctly, you need to reposition all the built-in i-cord sts to look like the right side of stockinette on each side.  One side will look like reverse stockinette.  These sts must be turned — not individually, but all three at once.   

The sts appear on the needle like this:

Place all three purl side sts on a dpn and then turn the dpn counterclockwise until the RS of the stockinette sts are facing forward.  Now place them back 0n the needle in this new order:

I won’t even try to show how to do garter grafting (yes, I’m a chicken  &^%$)!  Just make sure the center sts are set up properly (there are many tutorials out there). 

The results:

There will always be a jog where the change from st st to garter takes place because you are grafting two different directions of knitting together (heads of sts being grafted to heads of sts — if that does not make sense, you are normal!).

I’m still deciding on my next bigger project…a couple of ideas are floating around so we’ll see which one lands!

PS: Rox’s comment made me re-think the above and she is correct that you are grafting in the same direction as the knitting, so there shouldn’t be a jog.  The fact that there is is probably due to the built in i-cord (?), not the transition from stockinette to garter and back again.  That shouldn’t cause a jog in and of itself.  Maybe I’ll try it and experiment.  Or maybe not. 😉

September 4, 2010

From Susan — Sparkles [The Clown] Likes it Big Time

Filed under: Updates,Zephyr Sequined Shawlette — lv2knit @ 9:02 am

I love Sally’s Luiza Shawl and hope to make one as well. Hmmm. Let’s see. How many shawls/shawlettes are in my queue…? Let’s not dwell on THAT.

Especially since I just finished one of them: the Zephyr Shawl by Lauren Scarpo!  This is the shawlette that I wrote about earlier that came in a kit, purchased at The Yarn Garage.  This was a quick and somewhat annoying little knit.  Only annoying until I got used to the yarn and switched to bamboo needles (to go with the bamboo and silk yarn). 

I was able to add 9 of the 10 rows of an additional 6th repeat — this was great because it made the shawl larger and I did not end up wasting this treasure of a yarn!  I did not have enough sequined yarn for the fancy bind off in the pattern, but I wanted the bound off edge to have some heft, so I used Jeny’s Incredibly Stretchy Bind Off.  It did work very well for my purposes, creating a full bodied, stretchy edge for the shawl.

Zephyr Shawl, Great Adirondack Yarns

It goes really well with a couple of outfits I own and will make them seem a little bit newer — a definite plus since my wardrobe is “old and shabby” at best and “rag bag” at worst.  It also is hard to capture the color of the shawl and the sparkle of the sequins, but I hope you get the idea. 

Was it worth the $89??  No, but I am! 😉

Have a wonderful last blast of “summer” before we embark on the new school year.

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